At the General Meeting of the Computational Mathematics Group held during the
CTAC99 Conference the following motion was proposed:
This meeting of CTAC99 notes with regret the inability of Professor John Noye to be present due to ill health. The meeting expresses and records its appreciation of the driving force and foresight provided by John which led to the formation of CTAC as the most significant computation conference series in Australia. John's continued and enthusiastic support, despite medical difficulties, has not only maintained but expanded the importance of CTAC to the computational community. As a small mark of its appreciation and respect, the proceedings of CTAC99 are to be dedicated to Professor John Noye.
The motion was passed by acclamation.
The motion tries, but is inadequate, to do justice to a singular effort in support of what has to be a labour of love. The following notes attempt to fill in more of the detail of a remarkable record. In preparing these I have had the support of colleagues Frank Barrington, Jerard Barry, Alan Easton, Clive Fletcher, and Rob May, all of whom have contributed significantly to the Computational Mathematics Group (CMG), while Bill Summerfield extracted copies of the relevant entries in the ANZIAM minutes for me. I am extremely grateful to all of them.
Rainer Radok was something of a singular point in the evolution of Australian Applied Mathematics. He may not have been a comfortable colleague, but his interests and influence have lived on and prospered in the Computational Mathematics Group of ANZIAM, and in the very successful series of CTAC Conferences. Important names in the early and pre-history of CTAC include Bob Anderssen, Alan Easton, Rob May, and, in particular, John Noye. All were students directly influenced by Radok at Adelaide or Flinders Universities. In one way or another, they were all active in promoting computational mathematics within the Victorian Branch of ANZIAM-then the Applied Mathematics Division of the Australian Mathematical Society-and in enlisting the contributions of others.
Frank Barrington was secretary of the Victorian Branch from 1975 until 1981. He recalls the active interest within the Branch in the numerical solution of partial differential equations and the practical application of these methods in industry. This led to a series of meetings including a significant precursor on ``The Numerical Simulation of Fluid Motion'' held at Monash University in 1976. John Noye was involved at least from 1975 when he persuaded Clive Fletcher, recently returned from Berkley, to participate by contributing a review paper on Galerkin methods. A proceedings was edited by John and published by North Holland. The Branch discussed the ``big'' pde meeting from time to time. The ``big'' meeting, Numerical Solution of Partial Differential Equations, was held at the University of Melbourne from 23-27 August, 1981. Frank describes the circumstances as follows: ``Meaning no disrespect to any of my colleagues involved, it was John who was the driving force in getting the 1981 meeting off the ground. He travelled across to Melbourne a few times to help us plot the conference. And at the first meeting, he gave several survey talks single-handed: the first 137 pages of the proceedings are John's contribution. As for the conference itself-Rhys Jones and John planned the program as I recall while Alan Easton and I were more concerned with making the appropriate domestic arrangements.'' Frank's report to the Applied Mathematics Division as secretary of the Victorian Branch states: ``We must make special mention of the tireless efforts of Dr. John Noye who acted as Conference Director and Editor of the Proceedings''. John edited the proceedings which was published by North Holland. They continued to publish the CTAC Proceedings until 1991.
The success of the 1981 meeting led to the decision to hold a follow-up meeting at Sydney University from 28-31 August, 1983. Clive Fletcher agreed to organise this meeting, and suggested the name Computational Techniques and Applications. At this time the Applied Mathematics Division received a request to establish a Computational Mathematics Group within the Division. This request was conveyed by Alan Easton on behalf of a steering group comprising himself, John Noye, Clive Fletcher, John Atkinson, and Frank Barrington. This group, with Alan Easton making most of the running, prepared a ``Schedule of Rules and Procedure''. The proposal to establish the CMG was accepted by the Division, but not before the executive attempted to change the name to Computational Techniques Group. There were also some reservations among the steering group, and Clive Fletcher writes :`` We ``reluctantly'' agreed to be a special interest group of AMS because it means some assistance or fall-back with mailouts etc. However we have always sought to maintain autonomy''. A survey carried out as part of the first circular mailout for CTAC83 showed a healthy but not unanimous majority in favour of the new status. At the inaugural meeting of the CMG at CTAC83 John Noye was elected Chair. John and Clive Fletcher edited the proceedings.
The 1985 meeting was held at Melbourne University from the 25'th to the 28'th of August and directed by Rob May. The success of the meeting can be gauged by an expression of concern made at the next Applied Mathematics Division meeting ``that some members of the Division were more prepared to attend ``CTAC's'' than the Annual Conference''. John Noye was elected Chair of the CMG for a second term. The proceedings were edited by John and Rob May .
CTAC87 returned to Sydney University, being held from the 24'th to the 27'th of August. It was directed by Clive Fletcher who subsequently was elected Chair of the CMG. John Noye remained on the committee, and John and Clive edited the proceedings.
There were two departures from previous practice at CTAC89 held at Griffith University from July 10 to July 12. The first was the introduction of an International Steering Committee (a practice not followed subsequently), and the second was the holding of two workshops in association with the meeting. For the first time supercomputing was explicit on the program, and workshops on aspects of high performance computing have been held frequently since. The CMG committee was instructed to lobby for the provision of supercomputing facilities for a broad range of access. The conference attracted 141 participants. At this meeting Clive Fletcher was reelected Chair, and John Noye continued on the committee. The proceedings were edited by John Noye and Bill Hogarth, the Director of CTAC89.
The next CTAC was held on John's home turf at the University of Adelaide from July 15 to July 17. Perhaps surprisingly, it was the first meeting to be held in South Australia. John chaired the Organising Committee while Basil Benjamin shared responsibilities as Conference Director. Jerard Barry recalls that John was most supportive of his running the first hands-on tutorial session on vector supercomputing as part of CTAC91. It proved an extremely well run and successful meeting despite complications caused by the University calendar, by a clash with another meeting that involved several CTAC stalwarts, and by the administrative difficulties caused by the reluctance of North Holland to continue publishing the proceedings. The result of North Holland's withdrawal was that John Noye, Basil Benjamin, and Len Colgan became publishers as well as editors. Jerard Barry became Chair of the CMG, while John continued on the committee.
CTAC93 was held at the Australian National University from July 5 to July 9, and was directed by Mike Osborne. This meeting was the first to include the costs of the proceedings in addition to the cost of the dinner in the registration fee. This was a reflection of the success the meetings were having in attracting sponsorship. Another new departure was the holding of a public lecture given by Trevor Robinson, a stalwart of the computer industry and adviser to the then Industry Minister, Senator Button. The 130 participants enjoyed uncharacteristic conditions provided by the wettest July on record. The proceedings were published by World Scientific, and edited by David Stewart, David Singleton, and Henry Gardner. This was the first time in seven meetings that John Noye was not an editor of the proceedings. He is still on the CMG Committee though which is chaired by Mike Osborne.
CTAC95 returned to Melbourne, this time to be held at Swinburne University of Technology from July 3 to July 7. This meeting, the largest so far, attracted over 150 participants, and 120 papers were presented. Dr Chris Friedl of Moldflow presented the public lecture. CTAC stalwarts were well to the fore with Alan Easton directing the meeting, and Alan and Rob May editing the proceedings which were published by World Scientific. As further evidence of normality, John Noye was elected Chair of the CMG for the third time. A new departure was an exhibition, perhaps the nearest Alan could get to realising his imaginative idea of a competition between pde solver packages.
CTAC97 was not planned for Adelaide, but John Noye (battling health problems) and an effective committee, very much at the last moment, stepped into the gap created when the intended organisers could not continue. The meeting was held at Adelaide University from September 29 to October 1. This date, forced by the circumstances of the late change, proved popular with participants who contributed 104 papers-an especially good result given the change in venue and short notice. The proceedings were edited by John, Michael Teubner, and Andrew Gill and published by World Scientific. John was elected Chair of the CMG for the fourth time, a record that seems unlikely to be surpassed.
John had hoped to attend CTAC99, withdrawing a contributed paper only about two weeks before the conference. Colleagues and students ensured that his name appears in the proceedings, but his presence was missed.
John Noye, his colleagues, and his students have been determined that the CTAC meetings should not be short of contributed material-not that they have needed to worry, the high percentage of participants contributing papers is a continuing feature of the meetings. In addition, if the 1981 meeting is counted, John has been involved in editing seven of the conference proceedings, including the first six in succession.